Tire industry fares well in first quarter

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The tire stock sector performed well in the first quarter, not just in the United States but worldwide.

Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. led the way. From year-end 2001 to March 28, Cooper's stock price increased 35.6%, from $15.96 to $21.65. In an 8-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 14, Cooper estimated its first-quarter net income would be 50% higher than previously forecast because of higher replacement tire sales.

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. raised its stock price 7.4%, from $23.81 to $25.57, during the first quarter (although it surprisingly has dropped below its Dec. 31, 2001, price in the last two days).

Taking the exchange rate into account, European manufacturers Groupe Michelin (up 15.7%) and Continental AG (up 13%) experienced strong stock performance. Only Pirelli SpA (down 11%) experienced a decrease in its stock price.

Bridgestone Corp.'s stock price was up 25.5% during the first quarter, increasing from $10.57 to $13.27 per share.

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